Applying to Pharmacy School Resources
- Student Doctor Network is a great place to start learning about applying to pharmacy school. It is a community of other students who are trying to become pharmacists. They have articles and interviews from different healthcare providers including pharmacists. What I found most useful was the pharmacy forum and reading the various posts relating to the application process.
- U.S.News Pharmacy School Rankings can give you an idea of the quality and reputation of a school. Many argue these rankings are meaningless and are not valuable for making your decision on what school to attend. I believe these rankings still have some subconscious value to hiring managers. Example: Candidate 1 is from University of California – San Francisco Pharmacy School (#1 Ranked School) vs. Candidate 2 from a brand new unheard of Pharmacy School. Both Candidates interviewed well and pharmacy experience is the same. Who would you hire?
- American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) – Admissions FAQ. This is a great place to start learning the basics about applying to Pharmacy School.
- PharmCAS is a online application that is utilized by majority of pharmacy schools. Once you fill out the application it can be used for multiple schools that you may be considering. The process is quite tedious and can take a significant amount of time to do. I recommend to start filling this out a 6 months to a year in advance.
- Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT) is a standardized exam for pharmacy school candidates. Majority of schools will require the PCAT as part of the application process. From my experience it is similar to the SAT exam but is more focused on the sciences. It includes a significant portion on chemistry and biology.
- Visit the prospective Pharmacy School websites that you are considering to apply. Study the website and read everything! There is very good information in each of these websites. This is where you can find contact information, events, deadlines, application details, and other resources that can help you get accepted to the Pharmacy Program.
- Pharmacy School Admissions is a blog that answers questions about applying to pharmacy school. Not entirely sure who runs this blog, however after reviewing the answers they seem fairly accurate with their content.
- Pharmacy Times provides information for pharmacists and students about everyday pharmacy practice. It includes many great resources for continuing education and opinion based articles about the practice of pharmacy.
- The Blonde Pharmacist is another blog that helps people become more informed about healthcare. She is a hospital pharmacist with experience in retail and long term care pharmacy.
General Pharmacy Resources and Information
- Pharmacy Career Information from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP). This page gives you an overview of all the different areas of practice a pharmacist can specialize and grow their career.
- Bureau of Labor and Statistics for Pharmacist Job Outlook. This is information provided by the United States Department of Labor. It is updated every 2-4 years and can be misleading information. The pharmacy market is very different based on geographic location. It is best to research the area of interest where you want to work instead of depending on these statistics, however it is still valuable information.
- GlobalRPH is something I learned to use as a student for various calculations such as renal function, antibiotic dosing, TPN dosing, ideal body weight, and ANC. There is many more useful calculators on this website. It is also a great reference for lab values, dilutions, compounding, and news updates on pharmacy practice. I would say this is my most visited free reference for my pharmacy practice. The paid drug references such as UpToDate, MicroMedex, Clinical Pharmacology, and Facts and Comparisons are also my go to peripheral brain.
- Board of Pharmacy Specialties is an organization that certifies licensed pharmacists with a specific specialty. You must take a rigorous exam and keep up with continuing education to maintain certification status. Specialties include: ambulatory care, critical care, nuclear, nutrition support, oncology, pediatric, pharmacotherapy, and psychiatric pharmacy.
- USP 797 is a standard of practice for sterile compounding intravenous medications for patients. It is backed by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations to help reduce infection and deaths.
- The New England Journal of Medicine is the hub of new articles and research in healthcare. It is considered the gold standard for health information research for professionals.
- American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition is an organization that provides guidelines for efficacious nutrition care for patients based on the most recent research data.
- ClinCalc is a website that provides evidence based clinical tools and calculators for medical professionals.
- Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) – Do Not Crush List. This list is very useful as many questions you will encounter are from nurses asking if they can crush a medication. This list gets updated several times a year.
- National Association of State Controlled Substances Authority – Prescription Monitoring: Each state has their own drug prescription monitoring program. The purpose of these program is to reduce diversion and abuse. Each state has different laws and are at different stages of development with regards to their programs. These programs can be used to check if a patient has filled a controlled substance before. The controlled substance will be dependent on the state program.